Struggling with weight loss? Beth Dalton, owner and founder of Lean By Design in Gainesville, Florida, has the perfect plan for you to implement. Her mission for her business is “empowering others to live their dreams of healthy living.”
First thing’s first. You have to visualize your goals for success in order to achieve them. Beth tells us that you are six times more likely to achieve your goals if you list them on paper. Next comes the right attitude. You have to be prepared for a lifestyle change when it comes to healthier eating, so make sure you prepare with the right attitude because 80% of weight loss begins with proper balanced nutrition. Keep hydrated, eat your breakfast, and start a cardio routine that reaches your target heart rate so that you can keep burning calories even after you workout.
There are some dangers when it comes to weight-loss. Dalton tells us to stay away from the following foods: fried transfatty foods, high sugared fruits (in excess), low-fiber starches (white bread/crackers), too much protein in one meal, and high fructose corn syrup. Dalton also suggests avoiding alcohol and caffeine as much as possible because they dehydrate the body and prevent the metabolism from being as strong as possible. Also, let yourself take that afternoon nap or sleep in on that Sunday afternoon. Sleep is important for your body to regenerate, adults need at least 7-8 hours.
Dalton belives that a lot of problems with obesity have to do with confusion and ridiculous diets like: the cookie diet, the peanut butter diet, the 500 calories/day diet, etc. Even though you may lose weight on some of these methods, beware that it will not be in a healthy or long term way.
Dalton’s program is divided into four sections, L.E.A.N. The first, L: Learning the Basics about the Body with Love.
First and foremost, understand what a “calorie” is…it is energy. The foods we eat have chemical compounds that break down and give the body energy. Weight loss occurs when you balance the energy in from our foods verses energy out through movement. You must remember that 3,500 calories is equal to 1 lb of fat. Make sure you are aware of your appropriate daily caloric intake (per your body only). Official health guidelines provide that all the weight you should lose in a week is one to two pounds, which is 3500-7000 calories. Any weight over 2 lbs could be muscle mass loss and muscle is needed to burn fat and preserve the frame of our bodies.
Dalton offers us a metaphor for viewing calories: “We all understand and appreciate the value of a hard-earned dollar. Think of calories like money. You have a certain amount of calories you can ‘spend’ each day in order to reach your goal weight, so you want to spend very wisely, or you will bankrupt your brain and body."
The second part of Dalton’s method, is E: Exercise and Environment. There are a variety of reasons why exercise is important for weight-loss. In order to burn fat safely and effectively you have to reach your target heart rate to reach a process Dalton lists as E.P.O.C (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) which allows your metabolism to burn fat hours after working out.
Your target heart rate is determined by: age, height, weight, resting heart rate, etc. Dalton suggests purchasing a heart rate monitor so you can personally track if you are working out too hard or too little. If you don’t go for the heart rate monitor then utilize the heart rate monitor on most cardio machines, but don’t forget to program them with most of these main basic settings (listed above).
On average, the ideal exercise level for weight-loss, in the beginning, is burning 300-500 calories a day (3-5 times a week) especially for those who are severely overweight and/or obese.
Lastly, consider your environment. “Our lives are made up of energy (both negative and positive). Too much ‘stuff’ blocks the flow of energy in our surroundings. A clear energy field around you enables you to focus on every area of your life without being overly distracted or confused".
Dalton’s third level of her LEAN program is A: Attitude and Affirmations. She describes the 3 A’s one needs to nourish their mind with for optimal weight-loss: the right attitude, the right affirmations, and bringing the mind into alignment with your ultimate goal. You have to understand that your mind controls the body. Meditations are also encouraged by Dalton because it is an opportunity to connect with your higher self, think of it as your spiritual "food".
Affirmations are very important in her process. “Thoughts create words, which create action and/or events within our lives to unfold. Beginning each affirmation with ‘I am’ is planting (in your mind) the possibility of success and nothing but success. Affirmations are like ‘Miracle Grow’ for the mind,” Dalton says.
Dalton’s fourth and final level of her program is N: Nutrition and the Importance of Now! Protein is a key part in optimizing health and weight loss. After the age of 30, one loses approximately 5% of muscle and bone mass every decade (according to the world-renowned protein expert, Dr. Donald K. Layman…whose research she uses in her program).
The best and first step to optimal nutrition is breakfast; so don’t think about skipping it! Also, don’t consider a bowl of cereal or a sugar-filled yogurt an appropriate breakfast. According to Dalton, “A balances breakfast will make or break your day."
The reason for breakfast being so important is so that your body can begin a process called protein synthesis. Dalton describes this as the process that builds new proteins. She offers a number sequence for individuals seeking weight loss: 30/200/30/200/30. This sequence involves having at least 30 grams of protein coupled with high-quality carbs (which include fruits and vegetables) three times a day. Also, it is wise to have a 200-calories (or less) snack in between these meals to support a healthy and strong metabolism.
Dalton warns not to consume more than 50 grams of protein in a single meal because your body will be unable to process it and it could just lead to fat storage. One of the nutritionists she follows, Dr. Layman, recommends between 1,400 to 1,700 calories/day for healthy weight loss.
Hydration is also important to nutrition. Your body is 60% water and your brain is 80%. Many times when you feel as if you are hungry, you’re really just dehydrated because the hunger and thirst centers sit next to each other in the brain. The general rule of thumb that Dalton describes is to drink half of your body weight in ounces.
When it comes to healthy foods for the brain, Dalton also follows the research of Dr. Daniel Amen (a world-renowned brain specialist and neuroscientist). Some of these suggested brain healthy foods are the following: apples, blueberries, cherries, dark chocolate, garlic, grapefruit, green tea, lemons, nutmeg, olive oil, oranges, raspberries, red grapes, soy beans, strawberries, tomatoes, tuna and turmeric.
*Key fact: Turmeric, found in curry, contains a chemical that has been shown to decrease the plaques in the brain thought to lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Coming from someone who had her own struggle with weight-loss and discovered a way through it, try out the Lean by Design way! Why hinder yourself from being proud of your body? Get L.E.A.N today, and live in a body that you love, trust, and admire!
Beth Dalton is a personal trainer and healthy lifestyle coach, certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is not a nutritionist, but studies the work of credible, award-winning nutritionists: Dr. Layman and Dr. Amen. She also recommends James Allen’s “As A Man Thinketh” for astounding “food for thought”.